Posts tagged Business

A Rise From The Ashes

Forgive any Chicagoan this morning. They were probably up late last night. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.  They have won 3 out of the last 6 in a salary capped world.  That’s a dynasty.  What a great team.  Great …






Growth vs Profitability

In many startups, this is a conundrum.  Add users, or figure out a way to be profitable?  Virtually any startup that has a sharing or social media component faces that choice. It’s a tough choice because of cash burn, and …






The Great Unbundling

Have you seen this photo? Or this one from a while ago? A lot of great businesses have been built in the last ten years by unbundling.  Technology is moving so rapidly today it’s possible to create very large markets …






Feedback, or Criticism?

One of the things investors look for in entrepreneurs is “coachability”.  Yesterday, Mark Suster tweeted this, @semil @pointsnfigures I look for people who take feedback well. And I am willing to receive it too. — Mark Suster (@msuster) March 11, …






#TrainTheMen

The following is a guest post from my friend Susan Mravca.   Susan is a Chicago based serial entrepreneur and someone you should know. Many of her ventures have been in the technology services sector. Susan is currently co-founding JuvodHR, a …






The Hot Deal

Yesterday the NASDAQ ($QQQ) hit 5000.  Hasn’t been here in 15 years.  My friend Brian Lund had a nice write up about the differences between 2000 and 2015.  The tech market hitting highs made me think about the other end …






Following On In Early Stage Financing

Fred Wilson has written about USV’s policy on following onto rounds.  It’s a controversial topic so he has actually written a lot about it.  Should you follow on when a company has to raise the next round?  Brad Feld has …






Are You The Right Investor?

The last couple of days I have written about investing in companies from the entrepreneurs perspective.  What are bad and good investors. What about the flip side?  How can a person be a good investor for a company? View image …






Where To Find Money If You Are A Startup

If you are a startup, how do you find money?  The other day when I spoke to a class at Chicago Booth we discussed it.  The class listed a bunch of the sources, and the pluses and minuses of each …






Should Startups Ever Merge?

The other day Semil Shah wrote an interesting post about “Juggernauts“.  In it, he opined about some very large “startup’ companies like Uber, Dropbox and AirBnb making mergers and acquisitions to expand their business and strengthen their business model. Those …






What Are Seed Investors Looking For?

Recently I gave a little talk at Chicago Booth. I spoke to Prof Mike Moyer‘s class about funding and seed investing.  Instead of “Death by Powerpoint”, I engaged the class.  First we talked about sources of funds and the pluses/minuses …






Chicago, You Scored a TD. Act Like Walter Payton

Recently, I have read a couple of articles about the startup scene in Chicago.  In one, Kelly Raymond makes some excellent arguments about why Chicago should be a startup hub.  There have been other articles in the past about it. …






What To Do About Dead Equity On The Cap Table

This is a topic that isn’t talked about enough.  There are few blogs on it.  But, it’s important because it happens a lot.  It also depends on perspective.  VC’s sometimes view angel capital invested in seed and early rounds as …






It’s About Effort, Not Difficulty

Raising children to understand how effort affects outcome is important.  I think successful entrepreneurs understand the connection.  The more we raise our kids to understand the connection, the more likely it is we will raise the next generation of entrepreneurs. …






When Will US Companies Scream About The Dollar?

One of the things that businesses watch carefully is the value of the US dollar.  One of the shining parts of the American economy over the past ten years has been the growth of multinational corporations.  They are able to …






Younger Generation Engaging Less in Entrepreneurial Efforts

The trend is clear.  Younger people used to start a lot more entrepreneurial type businesses in years past than they do today.  Only 3.6% of businesses today are started by people less than 30.  In 1989, it was 10.6%.  However, …






Novel First Round Funding Idea as Alternative to Convertible Debt

Most startups these days use convertible debt for first round funding.  Typically, they do a deal that looks like this: $3-$5M cap on the note 15-20% discount on first round valuation 6-8% interest on the note Sometimes, entrepreneurs can get …